New Delhi, Feb 12 IANS | 7 months ago

Describing the UN Security Council as "one of the most troubling anachronisms", Foreign Secretary Sujatha Singh Wednesday said it must represent the current geo-political realities and not a world that existed "over half a century ago".


Giving the keynote address at a seminar on UN reforms at the IDSA, the foreign secretary said it was also necessary for the Security Council to function in a transparent manner.

"The council's present composition and working methods do not command credibility. Its functioning with respect to some of the troubled issues in recent years has been clearly less than effective," she said.

Sujatha Singh hit out at the manner in which the UN Security Council mandates peacekeeping operations.

Stressing that while India was a major troop contributing country, consultations in the council with troop contributing countries "are limited and, at best, perfunctory".

"There is a near complete absence of genuine partnership between the Security Council and Troop Contributing Countries.

"Complex and dangerous operations like those in the Democratic Republic of Congo and South Sudan are mandated by those who have no boots on the ground," she said.

The "absence of real life experience, and hence of genuine concern and understanding by the 'pen holder' of these mandates, cannot bode well for the operations that they govern," she said.

Sujatha Singh said: "We cannot but expect the diversity of the world to also be reflected in the solutions that are advocated.

"But just because the prescriptions are varied, this is no reason for us to reflect on them interminably. To do so would be to fiddle while the world burns."

The foreign secretary said the inter-governmental negotiations (IGN) formed in 2007 have incremental.

"The task before the IGN is clear: to begin actual text-based negotiations where genuine differences of view can be addressed and resolved.

"Only if we do this can we hope to come up with a concrete result by the time the UN meets for its 70th anniversary in 2015."

She said the discussions need to go beyond governmental negotiations.

"There is a pressing need to take this issue to the people it directly impacts. The involvement of thinkers, opinion makers and communicators is crucial.

"A push in the right direction will be in the interests of the UN, a body we are all committed to believe in and work for."

(Posted on 12-02-2014)


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